Many websites offer a potential trade: Sacrifice some privacy for free access to the website’s features or resources. However, many people in 2019 fail to realize just how dangerous a lackadaisical attitude toward privacy can be, both financially and personally. Here are a few of the reasons why online privacy is so important in 2019.
It can be difficult to interpret the terms and conditions users of a website sign up for, but it’s worth reading through documents and reading news stories and articles from privacy experts before starting or continuing to use specific platforms.
Tracking is Common
Increasingly, governments, private organizations, and malicious actors are monitoring and cracking internet connections to access user data. This risks are especially high if you access the internet through a public wireless interface; so-called man-in-the-middle attacks can compromise your privacy.
Those interested in improving their online privacy may want to take a look at a VPN, which encrypts data and avoids exposing it to public networks. Consider checking out the latest ExpressVPN price list to find out which options best fit your needs.
Your Data is at Risk
Cybercrime is no longer a niche activity; organized crime entities and even governments are cracking websites and using this information to target individuals and organizations. Your privacy can easily come under risk due to poor security practices. If a website or forum you use is hacked, for example, hackers can potentially use the password you use on the website to access your bank accounts and social media accounts.
Furthermore, sophisticated cracking tools can try extensive lists of passwords to access your online accounts. Here are a few guidelines for preventing these types of attacks to preserve your privacy:
- Never reuse passwords
- Use passwords with upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols
- Never send your password through email
- Keep passwords you write down locked away
Monetizing Private Data
So much of our daily activities are carried out online, and malicious actors are finding out how to use privacy breaches for financial gains. If you have any potentially embarrassing information saved on social media platforms, email accounts or cloud services, you run the risk of blackmail if criminals gain access to this information.
Because these blackmail schemes can be so lucrative, they’re an increasingly common threat for everyone who uses the internet. Keep compromising or embarrassing data offline if possible, but make sure to practice good privacy techniques to reduce the risk of embarrassing data being released or held for ransom.
Phishing Attacks and Email Breaches
Would-be hackers have a much easier time targeting individuals when they have more information about them. Phishing attacks, when combined with personal information you believed to be private, remain a common threat, and privacy compromises can leave you especially vulnerable.
Similarly, many email and social media accounts use personal information to secure accounts. Hackers who can uncover the answers to these questions might be able to access your most important accounts, leaving you vulnerable to hacks on your bank accounts and other websites.
The internet has made it easier to connect with people, deal with our finances and access information. With these advantages, however, come a number of risks. Although we often think of hackers as talented computer experts, privacy breaches can provide even the least talented hackers with the ability to access important information, potentially causing you and your family harm.
Always be mindful of the information you share online, and make sure to use strong passwords and avoid falling for phishing attempts and other traps. Above all, make sure to take your privacy seriously; it’s at the forefront of ensuring your online safety.